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July 20, 2018 – Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia which would afford continued protection from deportation to hundreds of Somali TPS holders. DHS did not, however, redesignate TPS, leaving Somali nationals who arrived to the United States after March 18, 2017, vulnerable to deportation.

Said Amanda Baran, consultant to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):

“For the hundreds of Somali nationals who are afforded protection from deportation in the near term, we are relieved, but without a redesignation, too many face a grim future including being vulnerable to deportation back to a country rife with violence and instability.

“Given the devastating conditions in Somalia, which include continued armed conflict, massive internal displacement, food insecurity, and devastating drought, it is inconceivable that the administration believes it is safe to return anyone to Somalia. In 2018 alone, nearly two thousand people in Somalia have been killed. This administration’s decision to deny these individuals continued safe haven is despicable and a complete abandonment of our ideals as a country.

“We urge Congress to act immediately and pass the American Promise Act of 2017 introduced by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and the SECURE Act introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Both of these bills will grant TPS beneficiaries access to legal permanent residency.”

Legal practitioners may reference the ILRC’s Practice Alert on Ramirez v. Brown for more information on how to help TPS holders living in certain parts of the U.S. (the jurisdictions covered by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th and 6th Circuits) that may be eligible to pursue options to adjust their status.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policymakers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC’s mission is to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org